Bacolod: The City of Smiles… and a whole lot more!
Come to Bacolod, a city known for its great food, warm smiles, and happy people.
Come to Bacolod where great cuisine is a tradition, as great food comes mostly from family heirloom recipes. Taste the famous chicken inasal (chicken marinated in native spices and herbs and then grilled to perfection), that gave birth to another festival (Manokan Country Inasal Festival launched in May 2009).
Come to Bacolod where her people speak in mellifluous lilting Hiligaynon accent, coupled with captivating sweet smiles breathed from their long-term romance with the sugar industry which, for centuries, have been the lifeblood of her economy.
Bacolod’s charm as a destination is in her half-a-million people exuding legendary hospitality and a trademark smile—from the porters you meet at the airport and seaport terminals, taxi drives, bellboys, receptionists and almost everyone in the streets.
It helps, too, that almost everyone understands and speaks English, often spiced up with a smile by those deficient in the language. This smiling nature of her people has earned for Bacolod the moniker, City of Smiles.
The Bacolenos’ propensity to smile stems from a happy disposition towards life, which gave birth to the 31-year old MassKara Festival.
A City of Contrast
Bacolod is also known as a city of contrast. Her rural ambiguity lends a certain mystique to her stylish modern urbanity. The Bacoleno is uptrend in his ways, as Bacolod has almost all the conveniences one can look for in a growing metropolis. Visitors can have a choice of modern first-class hotels or other accommodation establishments. Uppity restaurants, coffee shops, and fast-food joints dot the city’s thoroughfares. Malls and big department stores, boutique and souvenir or handicraft shops offer limitless shopping while the market stalls offer amazing bargains.
But with all these urbanities, the rustic ambience is still felt all over. The Bacoleno way is familial, almost laid back even, as everybody seems to know everyone—who is either a relative, a friend, or a nodding acquaintance. Despite the modern way of living, traffic is still manageable. The lush greenery in many parts of the city, and in the public plaza, known to be the shadiest and most pro-active plaza in the country, gives her the rural touch and the award as the Cleanest and Greenest Highly Urbanized City in the Philippines.
Proud of her heritage of an era when sugar barons ruled the land, Bacolod today is prouder still of the massive dramatic landscape transformation and economic regeneration brought about by the present proactive and dynamic governance of Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia.
The mayor has practically changed the sceneries of this southern city with all the infrastructures, rehabilitation of important historical markers and construction of new landmarks like the New Government Center.
Aside from being hailed as a “Billionaire City,” Bacolod today can truly bask in the many national awards she got for excellent government practices, which now makes her a favorite of many local government units around the country as a destination for learning experiences or “benchmarking.”
So whatever is your reason for visiting Bacolod, the city has it. When you leave the city after a memorable time, you leave with a smile in your face and heart, for the last Bacoleno you see sends you off with a unique smile.